Some writers make a name for themselves by creating work for themselves or for companies that they can claim as their own. Other writers make a name for themselves by becoming a ghostwriter. Ghostwriters are those individuals that create written work that is officially credited to someone else.
Being a ghostwriter can be a rewarding job, but some ghostwriters find it difficult to create a portfolio of their work when they can’t prove they were the author. Instead of being a ghostwriter without a portfolio, the following are some great tips to help ghostwriters showcase their work.
Ask for permission.
Before you add ghostwritten work to your portfolio, it’s important that you first ask for permission. Ask the client if you can include a small excerpt from the work in your portfolio, such as one page or paragraph from a book or article. If the client gives you permission, this will allow you to showcase a small portion of your capabilities without completely exposing the ghostwritten work.
Some ghostwriters are not given permission to show the actual work, but this doesn’t mean you can’t include your experience in your portfolio. Instead of showing a snippet of the actual work you created, you can include a timeline in your portfolio that hints at what you did. For example, your timeline can show that you were a ghostwriter for a magazine/book/ebook/white paper for a specific industry for a certain period of time.
For example, if you were a ghost writer for a book on marketing, and it took you three months to complete, you could write: January 2013-March 2013: Ghostwriter for 25,000 word book on “using SEO for business”. This way, your potential employer knows what you were doing and what you’re capable of without having to expose the credited author. If you will be looking for future ghostwriting jobs, your potential clients will appreciate your ability to keep the confidentiality of your past clients.
Check disclosure agreements.
As a ghostwriter, it’s likely that you’ve signed a disclosure agreement. Make sure you thoroughly read over the agreement to determine if you can use your work in your portfolio. Some agreements may claim that you can never use the work for your own needs, but others may allow you to add the work to portfolios after a certain period of time. Reading through these agreements can help you determine which works you may be able to credit without getting into legal trouble.
Use your own work.
If you have created work not as a ghostwriter, make sure that you include these items in your portfolio. This way, your potential clients will be able to see what type of writing style you have and what platforms you can write for. This will allow them to see your capabilities as both a writer and ghostwriter without having to expose your ghostwriting clients.
One great way to showcase your portfolio is to separate it into categories. Showcase your web content, blog content, white papers, etc. in their own respective categories. You can then add a ghostwriting category and include the snippets or generate a timeline, depending on your disclosure agreements.
Caleb Grant is a freelance writer and dedicated father who enjoys blogging in his spare time. He always uses a grammar checker to proof his work before publishing.